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  TBM-3 Avenger Bureau Number 23637  
USN
USS Randolph CV-15
VT-12

Pilot  Ensign Floyd Ewing Hall (POW, executed 3-9-45, BR)
Gunner
 AOM2c Glenn J. Frazier, Jr. USNR (POW, executed 2-24-45, BR) Athol, KS
Radio  
ARM3c Marve "Marvie" William Mershon USNR (POW, executed 2-24-45, BR)
Crashed  February 18, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by General Motors, Eastern Aircraft Division as a model G-40. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN). Assigned to the USS Randolph (CV-15) to squadron VT-12. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 18, 1945 took off from USS Randolph CV-15 on mission against targets at Chi Chi Jima. Over the target, hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed. The entire crew was captured by the Japanese and became prisoners of war (POW).

Fates of the Crew
Frazier managed to evade capture for five days before surrendering. On February 24, 1945 (confirm date) after interrogation, he was beaten to death with a club by Japanese Army Captain Noburu Nakajima. His body was placed into an unmarked grave. During 1947,

Mershon was ordered to die by Japanese Army Major Sueo Matoba, commander of the 308th Infantry Battalion. On February 24, 1945 (confirm date) he was taken to a cemetery and beheaded by Lt. Hironobu Morishita. Parts of his body were removed and later eaten by high ranking Japanese officers as part of Bushido warrior indoctrination. His remains were buried a grave.

Hall was ordered to die by Major Matoba. He was executed on March 9, 1945. Parts of his body were removed and later eaten by high ranking Japanese officers as part of Bushido warrior indoctrination. His remains were buried a grave.

In 1947, Major Matoba who ordered their deaths and Captain Nakajima who killed Frazier were tried for war crimes, found guilty, hanged and buried in an unmarked graves on Guam. Lt. Morishita, who beheaded Mershon, was sentenced to several years in prison.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of this crew were recovered by American forces and transported to the United States for final burial.

Memorials
Administratively, the crew was officially declared dead on February 19, 1946. Hall, Frazier and Mershon were permanently buried at Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM at section N, grave 275. The grave incorrectly notes the date of death as February 19, 1946.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBM-3 Avenger 23637
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List February 1945 - TBM-3 Avenger 23637
FIndAGrave - Floyd Ewing Hall (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Marvelle William Mershon (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Glenn Frazier (photos, grave photo)
Flyboys tells the story of this crew and aircraft

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
Avenger

POW
POW
3 Prisoners
3 Executed

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